Day 20: Aloe and Baklava
Trip Start May 19, 2009
30Trip End Jun 16, 2009
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Anyway, we knew today would be a day at the beach, so, already armed with our beach bags, we just walked across the street to Frishman Beach, paid for our lounge chairs and umbrella at the edge of the receding tide, and set up shop. The beach was not nearly as busy as yesterday (Shabbat, the weekend), which was nice. Sunscreen, books, leftovers, drinks from the roving waiter, dips in the Mediterranean...that was our day, basically. We could see from the Hilton in the north of Tel Aviv all the way south to Jaffa, and from the beach to the clear horizon. The family on our left spoke Arabic, the older women on our right English and Dutchmatkot, a back-and-forth non-competitive paddleball game, which is a fixture on Israeli beaches. Fun, if you don't mind the incessant plunk-plunk-plunk of the rubber ball on the paddles. Five and a half hours flew by, and so we got a bit burned, but it was a much needed rest. Hopped a cab back to the Jaffa hostel to clean up and rest.
We picked up some sweets at Aboulafia's, a well known Jaffa bakery, to take to dinner at our friends Malka and Dror's apartment, a big place on a quiet street in downtown Tel Aviv, where we had a nice time talking, having dinner, and being entertained by their 16-month-old girl, Shachar.
After dinner, Kevin and I walked through residential neighborhoods to Rabin Square and hailed a cab to the Rothschild area, where we thought we might finally get to a gay establishment. The cafe we went to turns out to be under renovation (at that very moment, 10:00 p.m. or so, men were carrying out some serious work on the place), soon to be a place for religious gays, we were told. Hmm. (Too bad, I was really looking forward to it, as Sunday was supposed to be "Eurovision night" there.) We checked our list and walked to another spot nearby, The Station
It was pretty simple and small (unless there was part of it we didn't see or find), playing loud pop and showing videos on a big screen. We had our beers, and not long afterwards, the place really filled up, almost everyone clean-shaven (except for one fellow with a beard and kippa (yarmulke)), in contrast to so many beards and moustaches we've seen, perhaps in conscious or subconscious counterpoint to the bearded religious community.
Anyway, it was too loud to make much conversation, so we headed back to Jaffa, stopping again at Aboulafia's (it and several other businesses still hopping late at night on the main street) for some breakfast snacks.